The other day Rick Warren tweeted something that impacted me greatly:
Trust & Obey. Trust & Obey. Trust & Obey. Trust & Obey. Trust & Obey. Trust & Obey. Trust & Obey. Trust & Obey. Got it? Deut 9:23
Deuteronomy 9:23 says this:
And when the Lord sent you out from Kadesh Barnea, he said, “Go up and take possession of the land I have given you.” But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. You did not trust him or obey him. (NIV)
The context of this passage is that the Israelites, having experienced first hand God's great saving power in their escape from Egypt, failed to trust that the Lord would give them the land of Canaan as He promised. Rather than relying on God's promise and strength, they compared their own strength to that of Canaanites and rebelled against the Lord's command to take the land. As punishment, all of the Israelites – except two faithful people in that generation, Joshua and Caleb – died in the desert.
Perhaps they failed (and we fail) to appreciate the link between trust and obedience. We sin because we lack trust in God and His promises. We take matters into our own hands because we think we know best. We do what we want because we fail to understand the depths of God's goodness and generosity. Specifically:
We chase money rather than the Kingdom because we a) don't trust God's promise to meet our needs (Luke 12:22-31) and b) fail to acknowledge that money has no lasting value (Luke 12:16-21)
We look for sexual gratification outside of marriage because we don't trust the goodness of God's gift in marriage. (Gen 2:24-25, Prov 18:22, 1 Cor 7:2-5, Heb 13:4)
We seek pleasure and comfort now because we don't trust in the surety and goodness of the the rest (heaven) that God has promised us. (Heb 4:8-16, Rev 21:1-4, Don't waste your life)
We allow our lives and conversations to be consumed with things that do not last (work, real estate, sport, tv, etc) because we do not believe that our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:18-21, 2 Cor 5:16-17, Col 3:1-3, 2 Tim 4:9-10)
We try to clean ourselves up after sin because a) we don't believe God that we can't clean ourselves (John 14:6, Mark 2:5-12) and b) we don't have confidence (ie. don't trust Him) that Christians are already made clean. (Heb 10:19-22, 1 Cor 6:11, Rom 5:6-11)
We allow our behaviour to be shaped by the fear of man rather than the fear of God because we do not trust the Lord to sustain us through and reward us for suffering (Mark 10:28-29, Matt 10:28-33, blog article)
We fail to share the gospel because we don't believe that God takes sin seriously and has promised to judge the world. (Heb 9:27-28, Luke 6:46-49, Rom 1:18-22)
Trust & Obey. Trust & Obey. Trust & Obey. Trust & Obey. Trust & Obey. Trust & Obey. Trust & Obey. Got it?